dumpster diving

dumpster diving

Written By

Natalie Jenkins House

I am a big fan of recycling. HUGE. I just don’t see the downside.

And it’s SO easy. All you need is two cans: one gets stuff that can be recycled, and one gets stuff that can’t be recycled. Really, it takes as much time to put that aluminum can in the garbage can as it does the recycling bin.

Or so I thought.

A couple of summers ago, we organized a family reunion at a local lake where the community doesn’t offer any recycling. My husband’s family has a house on this lake, and we are used to hauling out our own recyclables at the end of our trips up there. So I offered to haul back all of the recyclables from the family reunion. I took my whole “two bin” philosophy to the lake, except it was more of a “two bag” philosophy. I even color coordinated: black contractor bags for garbage and green contractor bags for recyclables.

It totally didn’t work. I spent the weekend going through the black bags and digging out countless cans and plastic bottles. People thought I was crazy. And maybe I am, but it just KILLS me to know that an aluminum can is getting thrown away on my watch when it is infinitely (YES, INFINITELY!) recyclable.

One thing I heard over and over was “That’s not recyclable.” It is important to check your local community to see what is accepted in your area, but there are a lot more recyclable items than you might think. That’s why we’ve created a handy guide that you can print and post near the recycling bins in your own home. It includes all of the recycling symbols, the types of items that feature that symbol, and an area where you can note whether or not these items are accepted in your area. You can download it for free by clicking here.

Hopefully your family will be better than mine at checking the list and chucking things in the right bin. Hey, even if it’s just the aluminum cans, that’s fantastic by me.

Photo by epSos.de